The news of the new crime — the new robbery and murder — is disastrous because the city and the nation are already so obsessed with fear. And since Absalom is on trial for a similar crime, there is a real possibility that he will be made to suffer for this crime, as well as the one he actually committed. Absalom is likely to be a scapegoat for all the fear, all the guilt, and all the crimes of the city. This desire for revenge has led the whites to demand more police protection rather than demanding more schools that could educate the masses who are performing the crimes. In the trial scene, the reader should be aware of how carefully the judge evaluates his material — that any way one may look at the case, one must conclude that Absalom is guilty and must be judged accordingly. There is no indication that Absalom did not receive a fair trial. The chapter then
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